Considering the expectations coming into his rookie season, Nick Foles has already accomplished a lot. As a third-round pick, Foles wasn't expected to be the Eagles' No. 2 quarterback in his first year, but he won the backup job after an impressive preseason. Then, Foles was expected to simply hold the place of Michael Vick after the rookie replaced a concussed Vick back in Week 10. After three consecutive starts, Foles was named the team's starter for the rest of the season.
So now that he's charged with helping the Eagles end this 2012 on a positive note, why would Foles do anything other than what's got him to where he is now?
"My mindset stays the same," Foles said Wednesday after his first practice as the official starting quarterback. "Always prepare like you're the starter. I'm going to keep saying it over and over. That's how I've always approached everything with any sport I've ever played. The mindset stays the same and you need to approach every day and give it your all. That's my mindset."
Foles has looked the part of an NFL starter. He had his best game of the season last week against the Cowboys, finishing the night 22-of-34 for 251 yards and a touchdown. More important was Foles' play beyond the numbers. Foles was decisive with his throws and stood strong in the pocket. Foles' play, coupled with another huge night from rookie running back Bryce Brown, helped the Eagles put up a season-high 33 points.
"We did make a few more throws downfield, but we ran the offense effectively," Foles said. "We need to score more points and put more points on the board, and that's on us and me as the quarterback. I felt like we ran the offense well, and we just have to keep getting better and we can put more points on the board and win the game."
Foles will have a chance to put more points on the board this Sunday against a Buccaneers defense that ranks last in the league in pass defense. While Foles isn't approaching the game by looking at stats, he is spending time in the film room studying his weaknesses and working on corrections on the practice field.
"It's different throws; it's different footwork," Foles said. "It's just the little attention to detail and notes I take. I don't really worry about the stuff that went well. I worry about the stuff (like), 'Hey, how can I get better at this? What did I mess up on? Could I have gotten us in a better play?' Different things like that so I can fix those things and make what I'm not good at right now better, instead of making what I'm good at even better. Working on the things that I'm not good at."
Even though the coaching staff is asking Foles to do a lot, he is still a rookie in the huddle. And while that may be intimidating for some, Foles knows that he's earned his teammates' respect through his play and the way he's conducted himself throughout the week.
"In any position, don't try to be something you're not," Foles explained. "I'm just going to be me. In the locker room, having a relationship with the guys. If we're in the hotel, we're studying or eating lunch and then (when) we're on the field, (you're) the quarterback. Get the tempo going.
"I think the most important thing for a quarterback or anybody is to have a great relationship with your teammates and coaches on a personal level, just being a normal guy and staying true to who you are as a person."
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